Davidson Gallery is pleased to present Psychonautic Traces, a solo exhibition of new work by Palma Blank. The exhibition features Blank’s hard-edge, optical paintings from various series within her practice. Like virtually all of Blank’s work, they draw influence from the minimalist concepts and color theories of 1960s modernism, along with the visual strategies and phenomenological ideas associated with Impressionism. The works intimate recognizable forms but even as shapes begin to appear, they morph and shift. The feeling of cut-out space and void belies the additive nature of the paintings; Blank’s process includes repetitive networks and undulating matrices of smaller shapes to create vibrating layers that create a state of flux.
It is that ever-changing status that draws the viewer into the paintings while also mining their own subconscious - the title of the show, Psychonautic Traces, imagines a journey through one's own mind, or else finding remnant evidence of some such odyssey in the real world. Blank draws inspiration from visual moments in everyday life: “The way light radiates through a series of graffitied fences. The layered patterning of leaves when looking up from under a tree. Following the fluorescent orange mesh of a construction site as it wraps the skeleton of a new building. Contemplating the vastness of the universe while gazing into a clear night sky.” That sublime awareness of the connectivity of all things helps dictate the intense color relationships in Blank’s work, as well as the ability to juxtapose depth and flatness, illusion and objecthood, minimalism and maximalism, the handmade and the machined; the paintings emerge as charged futuristic spaces for experience and reflection.
Palma Blank (b. 1979 Norwalk, CT) received an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT, and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. Her work has been included in exhibitions throughout New York including The Hole, a solo show at Horton Gallery, and most recently Ninth Street Women: 70 Years of Women in Abstraction, at Hunter Dunbar Projects. Her work has been acquired by the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, NY Presbyterian Hospital, as well as many other international collections. She is on the board of directors at Black Ball Projects, a non-profit arts organization supporting underexposed contemporary artists in New York City. Blank lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. This is her first show with Davidson Gallery.